The Dr. Chalmers Show Season #3, episode 13 - Lifting lighter: Is it an oxymoron, or can you get more benefits?
There are different schools of thought on lifting, training, and performance. Today, on the podcast, I cover some of the differences between heavy, lighter, and form. There are significant health benefits to understanding the difference
Dr Matt Chalmers [00:00:10] So one of the other things I always try to get my athletes to do anyway was just trying to be healthy, we always talk about lifting lighter. If you go slow and you practice perfect form, you can use a lot lighter weight and still look and feel great and have all those things.
Dr Matt Chalmers [00:00:30] If you're the type of person who has to be the strongest guy in the gym or the strongest woman in the gym, cool knock it out like, that's totally awesome I'm not saying that you shouldn't do that that's fantastic go set your goals and train for them. You train properly, work on, you know, the damage and stuff. I have tons of guys and women who are in that boat and that's fantastic if that's your thing.
Dr Matt Chalmers [00:00:51] But if you don't really care about being the strongest person in the room, I don't care at all about that. Drop your weight, you can still look really good, you can still get big, you can still feel awesome and you're going to feel awesome more if you drop your weight.
Dr Matt Chalmers [00:01:07] Because here's the deal Your muscles will grow faster than your ligaments and tendons and your joint well, so what that means is that you can make your muscles strong enough that they'll tear up your ligaments and tendons, and that will destroy your joint. And if you tear your ligaments and tendons and damage your joints, you're going to hurt possibly forever, so keep that in mind.
Dr Matt Chalmers [00:01:28] So if you're like, you know what? Feeling good, looking good and being functional is more important to me than being the strongest guy in the room. Cool. Drop your weight and then increase the amount of time it takes you to lift it. Don't just go like this slow down and curl really slowly, press really slowly, do your flies, do your squats really slowly.
Dr Matt Chalmers [00:01:54] You know, that brings another thing I talk about a lot the entire range are you need to exercise the entire range. This squatting down to parallel and then coming back up is I think, great again if you want to be in a in a serious lifting competition because that's the rules of the competition parallel or not.
Dr Matt Chalmers [00:02:16] If you care about your joints, if you care about functionality, if you care about feeling good and not hurting yourself the entire range needs to be done. So, you know, the whole ask the grass thing, get your get our butt down as low as you can, and as soon as you get that ready now, you're going to start pushing your knees over your toes because that's a range of motions your knees and ankles get into.
Dr Matt Chalmers [00:02:38] And the reason that I always like to have people train like this is because you're going to live your life, things are going to happen, you're going to you're going to slip, you're going to trip, you're going to, you know, stumble, you're going to like someone's going to fall off the shelf you're going have to try to go and grab it.
Dr Matt Chalmers [00:02:53] If you move your body into a position that you never get into, you never train in it's going to be weak in that range. So if you have 100 degrees of range just doing this for percentages with 100 degrees of range, you only train 60% of that range, you're going to be weak in 40% of that range. Your body is just the neurology is not going to be there, the tones are going to be there The joint function is not going to be there, and so you have a very high likelihood of injury if you slide into that 40% of the range, you never train your body's not used to being it.
Dr Matt Chalmers [00:03:26] The other problem we get into is that every exercise position that you get into is a range of motion you're going into, you're going to set a neurologic tone. Remember, muscles have two things they have strength and they have tone. Strength is how hard you can pull at any one given time, Tone is how hard you're pulling all the time. We also call that posture.
Dr Matt Chalmers [00:03:44] So if you slide out of the range, your body's your normal in, you're going to get damaged but if you train 60% of the range of motion, the tone is going be set for that specific spot. And so the way your body's going to hold itself is going to be different and so we're going to have secondary and tertiary problems from that.
Dr Matt Chalmers [00:04:04] So whatever range of motion you can get out of a joint exercise, that entire range of motion and yes, if you've been training like normal people have in that 60, you know, 70% range of motion, you're going have to drop your weights because that other 30% isn't as strong as the rest of it and then it gets in a whole bunch of physics factors and things like that.
Dr Matt Chalmers [00:04:25] So drop the weight, exercise the entire range of motion, whatever the joint will do, you exercise that entire range and we're going to be much, much, much, much better off. So that's gonna be a big one.
Dr Matt Chalmers [00:04:37] This will help decrease injuries. The biggest thing that we always try to do is prevention of injury that's your number one key way to do it. Decrease your rate, your weight, full range of motion, and go slow. You know, if you get 15 reps out, full range of motion, you're going slow and you're like, I'm not burning great up weight but that's the easiest way to do it so keep yourself from getting injured. Lighter, lighter weights, full range of motion go really, really slow.
The Chalmers Wellness Stubstack just launched. Comment, Like, Interact with other people on their wellness journey. Communities can make the difference. DrChalmers.substack.com
Dr. Matt Chalmers
Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only. Before taking any action based on this information you should first consult with your physician or health care provider. This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions regarding a medical condition, your health, or wellness.